IAVA Daily News Brief 07.26.12
Posted by Gretchen Andersen on July 26
Here are some of today's top stories and happenings that IAVA is tracking. Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom and click here to get the News Brief delivered to your inbox every morning.
House Armed Services and House Veterans Affairs committees listened to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki answer tough questions regarding military suicides, VA backlogs and why it is taking so long for digital military records, among many other issues. The Stars and Stripes reports that although the departments have set up a plan for a joint medical records system, it won’t be fully operational until 2017.
Reuters reports on President Obama’s efforts to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs, such as requesting $40 billion in the 2013 budget for the VA. However, as the article states, veterans groups are saying that those efforts aren’t enough as they not only face problems with the VA, but high unemployment rates, risk of homelessness in a tough economy and suicide. Andrew Colon, a Storm the Hill participant, is featured in the article.
Nate Rawlings of TIME Magazine’s Battleland blog writes about his own experience in the military and about how veterans are being slighted by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Rawlings argues that the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is not responsible for the disaster at the VA; however, he is not fixing it and "his goals fall far short."
- In the At War blog, Jaala A. Thibault, who trained teachers at Kabul Education University in 2010 and 2011, writes about how her students face daily hardships.
- As Marines withdraw from Afghanistan and shift responsibilities from counter-insurgency operations to training and advising, Afghan security forces transition to take the lead.
- NPR details the challenging part of reporting from Afghanistan -- the lack of consistent statistics.
- Three U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan in the last week have been identified: Spc. Justin L. Horsley, 21; Pfc. Brenden N. Salazar, 20; and Pfc. Adam C. Ross, 19.
- The Los Angeles Times reports that Al Qaeda in Iraq released a message this week that threatened to strike at the "heart" of the United States. Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing yesterday that recent arrests of several associates point to "the potential threat posed to the United States."
- Maj. Nidal Hasan, facing charges for killing 13 people at Fort Hood, will be forcibly shaved if he doesn't remove his beard himself, a Judge Col. Gregory Gross said yesterday. Hasan’s lawyers said he had not shaved in observance of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.
- There will be 16 military athletes representing Team USA as they participate in the London Olympics.
- Army Col. Mark Fassl testified that he witnessed horrible conditions during his inspection of Dawood National Military Hospital and urged a probe, but was ordered to retract a request.
THE NEW GREATEST GENERATION
- Iraq War veteran Capt. Patrick Horan and his wife will move into a new home thanks to a nonprofit called Rebuilding Together in part with Sears Heroes at Home. Horan, who was severely injured after a bullet penetrated his skull and exploded, will live in a house that meets all of his needs.
- Angie Henderson Moncada, of Citi Community Development, offers five points of advice to military spouses to help them with their finances on The Huffington Post.
- A new program called Making Voting More Accessible for Veterans with Disabilities will improve the accessibility of voting for injured veterans.
- 1st Lt. Stephen “Chase” Prasnicki, West Point graduate and football player, was remembered in his community at a memorial service. The article states that before, after and on weekends at West Point, Prasnicki would work with student athletes on their academics.
- Read a list of employers who earned the Freedom Award -- the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees.
- On the campaign trail, President Obama responded to a veteran’s question about National Guard pay.
A wide-range of views, positions, and publications are represented in these articles. These views, positions and publications are not endorsed by nor do they necessarily represent the views of IAVA.
IAVA has helped thousands of veterans. Here are some of their stories:
On Sunday, March 18th, IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff and…
On August 5th, IAVA Member Veterans joined President Obama at the Navy Yard…